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May 28, 2007

Cooling Bandana

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These hot summer days will be a breeze for your pup, whether on the road or close to home, if he or she is wearing a Cooling Bandana. Simply soak this bandana in water--the safe, nontoxic beads inside absorb water, which gradually evaporates and cools your pet.

Cooling Bandana in one size, red or blue.

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Pet Memorials

Today is Memorial Day. Traditionally this US holiday commemorates men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service. We honor them here as well.

Many of us also remember our loved ones on this day--the ones who are no longer with us, including our pets. I first experienced the terrible feeling of pet loss when I was 8. One of our dogs was a hit and run victim. I have no photos, just memories from long ago.

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That's why SuperCoolPets likes this Pet Memorial.. It is tasteful and is a personalized photo pet memorial. Your original photo is "faithfully reproduced on a weather- and sun-resistant glazed porcelain tile" that can be attached to monuments, headstones, or urns, either indoors or outdoors. Orvis will return your original photos.

Of course nowadays photos are much cheaper to develop and easily stored on our computers, so you may prefer a personalized Cast Aluminum Memorial:

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Or a personalized one custom-made in slate or marble:

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At Orvis.

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May 26, 2007

Leaving Your Pet at Home

Memorial Day weekend is a big travel weekend in this country as many people start throwing back yard barbecues, opening up summer homes, or heading out to the beach. Good times. Do you take your pet with you when you travel, or leave him/her (or them) at home? Perhaps you want a vacation from your domestic duties. Maybe there are no pet accommodations where you plan to visit, or your pet is not particularly cooperative or healthy enough to travel.

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Whatever the reason, you may choose to leave your pet at home. If you have helpful neighbors or family members who will take care of your pet (often the easiest solution for cats) count yourselves among the fortunate. In our extended family, we have customarily left the dogs at our good vet's kennel. That is a great solution if it is 1-affordable 2-a well-maintained, kindly facility 3-your pet needs medical care and 4--your dog has the appropriate temperment. Our current doggies would not emerge from a kennel sane, no matter how high the quality. AKC offers tips on boarding your pet.

Another option is a good pet sitter, so your animal can stay in a familiar environment with their routine, very important, not as disrupted. As with all services, recommendation from a trusted source is optimal. Failing that, your vet may recommend a service. Pet Sitters can be found on-line: National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International. Don't forget to check for reliable references before letting anyone into your home.

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May 25, 2007

Pet Hair Vac

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In today's hi-tech world, appliances have become so "smart" they even talk to us. That is great, but sometimes, truthfully, all we really want out of our gadgets is that they have an on-off switch and do the job they are supposed to do. Simplicity.

This Pet Hair Vac may fill the bill. It is a bag-free vacuum with a 7 amp motor and an easy-to-empty bin. Includes a 6-piece tool set and a 16 foot self-winding cord. Good choice for a second vac, summer home, or apartment.

Available at (appropriately) WhateverWorks.

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Sporting Dog First Aid Kit

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Memorial Day Weekend traditionally heralds the start of the summer season. Are you having a cookout? Along with summer comes vacations and travel. A lot of us bring along our pets because of course we can't leave them behind. Even at home, this Sporting Dog First Aid Kit is a good thing to have around.

The First Aid Kit comes stored in a rugged, water-resistant wide-mouth canvas bag. Kit Contains:

Carrying case, first aid book, hydrogen peroxide (4 oz), thermometer, 3-ply towels (2), iodine prep pads, saline solution, surgical scrub brush with iodophor solution, tourniquet, 15cc syringe, 6 x 9 cold pack, 2\ Co-Flex (1), eye wash (7 ml), scissors (1), forceps (1), iodine solution (4 oz), skin stapler gun, 4\" x 4\" gauze (2), alcohol prep pads (2), styptic pencil, hydrocortisone cream (2), triple antibiotic ointment (2), 3\" cotton swabs (4), cotton balls (4), pill gun, vinyl gloves (4) and a pet passport.

Sporting Dog First Aid Kit

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May 23, 2007

Calming Signals

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Our dogs speak to us, but do we listen? Humans often expect them to understand English (substitute any language), and I know our dogs do. Or do they understand the body language that goes along with the words? Since this is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, SuperCoolPets suggests On Talking Terms with Dogs--Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas. This book, as recommended in a prior post, can help educate us in canine body language.

From a review by "gunillam":

I attended a weekend seminar with Turid Rugaas last year which opened my eyes and I know that this works. Since then, and also since looking at video recordings from dog meetings, I now understand that dogs "talk" all the time. When meeting us or another dog, every single move or glance can carry a meaning. The other dog understands, if he has been allowed to "practice" dog language in lots of meetings with other dogs, but we, the humans, the supposed alphas, don't understand. Instead we try to teach the dog OUR verbal language. How frustrating for the dog! Shouldn't we first learn the dog's language?

On Talking Terms with Dogs--Calming Signals also available in DVD from Amazon.

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May 22, 2007

Humorous Door Mat

Our Golden Retriever Molly usually likes to go outside and hunt, while her twin Jessie is a "hearth dog". No matter who is out, one or both, a nanosecond later they are panting at the door waiting to come in. In our house, sometimes the "tail wags the dog" and we find ourselves letting doggies in, then out--a lot!

That means dirty paws. The Humorous Door Mat seems appropriate and functional. Perfect for the mudroom, porch, or entryway. Door mats available in two phrases; choose from "Never mind the dog, beware of the owner", or "This house is operated solely for the care and comfort of the dog".

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Available in yellow or black.

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Humorous Door Mat is environmentally friendly, absorbent, and durable.1/2" thick coir mat, 29"L x 17"W.

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May 21, 2007

Poop-Freeze

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Removing pet waste is a fact of life for all of us pet owners. Homeowners in our town are getting a tad irate over other people's pet waste left on their lawns. Poop-Freeze may make the pick-up easier and quicker on those daily walks or in the back yard. Poop-Freeze is an "instant-freeze" spray. The liquefied gas chills the waste to - 62 degrees, which of course hardens it for easy pick-up and disposal. It is non-flammable and supposedly "earth-friendly" with no CFC's. Safe to use around people indoors (when your pup is sick or housebreaking) and will not harm vegetation outdoors.

Available from EntirelyPets

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Pawpoose™--Keep Your Pet Close By

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If you and your dog or cat are inseparable, consider the Pawpoose™, a convenient travel accessory. At SuperCoolPets we like this product because it is so attractive and comfortable looking. It features a wide shoulder strap to distribute weight across your back and shoulder. The carrier adjusts easily for a customized fit, and is very easy to take on and off. It contains an integrated safety clip to keep your pet safe and secure.

Choose from different patterns and materials--blue print stretch twill, red linen, navy stripe linen/rayon blend, cotton canvas in a yarn-dyed stripe, houndstooth stretch tweed, denim, corduroy, and more.

Each Pawpoose™ ships in a handy carry bag. Product information and instructions are also included.

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Available in two sizes: Petite Pawpoose for pets 5 pounds and under and Standard Pawpoose for pets up to 20 pounds. Machine wash, line dry.

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May 19, 2007

Dog Bite Prevention

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The third week in May is designated as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Good idea--every week should be that way. Our family dog Kelly, an English Setter, supposedly a kind and gentle breed, bit our then 3 year old son on the jaw. Frantic call from sitter, rush home, rush to ER, kick mother out. He had a few stitches and his black and blue face swelled up--closed eye--the whole bit. Traumatic for us all, and our sweet doggie went to live with relatives.

How to prevent? Listen to warning signals from the animal (and hire a competent babysitter). We were out, but reports from my now adult children, not the sitter, are that our little guy cornered our pup. Did our dog give warning signals? I will never know. But I have started to find the topic of canine communication fascinating. People tend to anthropomorphize dogs, which is an error. Fascinating suggestions from Cissy Sumner, Be aware of canine communication behavior in yourhub.com

I do find it hard to believe the dogs bit without warning. I find it much more likely the dogs gave warning, but the humans did not recognize it. It is the simple fact that dogs and humans communicate differently. Since humans are supposed to be the more intelligent species, we should learn to recognize canine warning signals.

Dogs often use subtle "calming signals" to let us know they are uncomfortable in a situation. They may yawn, blink, sniff or turn their head away to avoid our gaze. Few people notice these small signs. (I highly recommend Turid Rugaas' book or video "on Talking Terms with Dogs-Calming Signals" for anyone interested in learning more about canine communication.) Perhaps the dogs in question gave some of these signals, but no one noticed.

If a dog has been telling you subtly to back off and you did not get the message, the dog must escalate his warning. This can be a growl or it may be simply freezing and becoming still. A growling dog is giving a lot of vocal warning. This is good because if you have any common sense you now know there is a problem and can give the dog more space. You can deal with the problem later. The first thing is to diffuse the situation and keep everyone safe. Remember, growling is the early warning system. Do not punish a growling dog. He may bite you for correcting him or he may simply stop growling and go directly to using his teeth.

Dogs that do not growl, but just freeze before biting are more problematic. Most people do not notice the dog is suddenly still. This is the most dangerous situation. With this type of behavior, you can find yourself in in trouble before you realize it. I suspect these are the dogs that we think bite without warning.

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